Teresa Condron has been a phone volunteer with Rossinver Calling for three years. Rossinver Calling is a phone service for older and vulnerable people. It’s Teresa’s duty to call all the people on her list, check in with them, and have a chat
“I enjoy chatting to my different phoneline friends and catching up with them each week,” Teresa says. “Sometimes they reminisce about days gone by which I can relate to, being a pensioner myself.”
Teresa’s Rossinver Calling colleagues say, “The way she interacts with the clients on the phone service is beautiful. Her concern for the clients is boundless. Her kindness to them is inspiring. She remembers their family, their ailments, pieces of personal history, and pieces of local interest to make conversations easier and more comforting to the client. She has a way of gently checking in with them about their health, making sure that they have all that they need and that they are well. She makes them feel cared for and important.
“During COVID, she really went above and beyond what is expected of a volunteer. She helped the socially isolated and cocooning. She visited clients and chatted with them through windows. She also helped with delivering any items they needed, such as medicines and food. She gave them hope and companionship through a very lonely time.
“Teresa’s impact is both immense and immeasurable. She helps to ward off the feelings of loneliness and depression in her clients. She gives them dignity and confidence in knowing that there is someone who is interested in them other than their families. In some cases, where families have moved away or died, she is the closest person they have and she brings them so much joy.”
Recovery Haven Cancer Support House
Dermot Crowley has been volunteering with Recovery Haven Cancer Support House for almost 10 years. A former Treasurer and Board Director, Dermot is now a valued member of both the Fundraising & Events Committee and the Finance & Fundraising Sub-committee. He is also a member of the Men’s Cancer Support Group and is always there to talk to a new person and support the men in the group.
As a cancer survivor, Recovery Haven Kerry is extremely dear to Dermot’s heart, and it shines through in everything he does.
His Recovery Haven colleagues say, “He volunteers so selflessly and insists he considers it a privilege to give something back to the charity that supported him through his own cancer journey. He knows how valuable support can be, having been there himself, and he will stop at nothing to ensure those struggling on their cancer journey are never left wanting.”
This year, as restrictions lifted and people were allowed to gather again, Dermot organised a wonderful fundraising gala concert in Tralee, single-handedly contacting performers and entertainers, sound engineers, and a wonderful MC for the event. It was a superb night that raised much-needed funds for Recovery Haven.
As well as volunteering with Recovery Haven, Dermot also gives his time freely to several other local community projects, including his local football club in The Spa, The Churchill Forge Heritage Project, Ballymacelligott CE Scheme, and his local church.
“Dermot’s commitment and dedication to our charity is something that wows us every day,” say his Recovery Haven colleagues. “He embodies everything that is good about volunteering. Recovery Haven Kerry is a much better place because of him. We are honoured to call him our colleague and friend.”
Cork Parkinson’s Association
Tony Wilkinson has been volunteering for six years with Cork Parkinson’s, part of Parkinson’s Association Ireland.
Tony was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2015 while living in London. He and his wife Kate moved to Bandon, Co. Cork, where Tony discovered the lack of services and support for people with Parkinson’s. So Tony set up local groups in places like Bandon, Skibbereen, Fermoy, and Mallow.
When the pandemic prevented in-person meet-ups, Tony started a weekly ‘Cork Connect’ Zoom call to connect group members who were isolating.
Tony completed a course with the European Patient Forum which enables him to advocate for better services for and understanding of Parkinson’s. He led a campaign to recruit Parkinson’s nurses in Irish hospitals and addressed Dáil Eireann about the campaign.
Tony’s nominator says, “He has done a phenomenal amount to highlight the needs and services required for people living with Parkinson’s. When someone is first diagnosed with Parkinson’s they need to talk to someone about it, someone who knows about it and what it’s like to live with it. He listens to their concerns, guides and supports them on their Parkinson’s journey.”